Thursday, November 09, 2006

lost in a great big Christmas cake!

That's just what northern Canada looks like-a giant Christmas cake, thick icing sugar dripping off cutesie log homes with little chimneys puffing real smoke, row upon row sugar- dusted pine trees, wild elk grazing on bits of green not yet frosted to a crisp and the frozen lakes a bit like the mirror on the cake-you expect to hear a Ho-ho-ho from a jolly old fat guy and the jingling of bells any minute!

As a kid, I loved the figurines on the Christmas cake even though it seems de rigeur for all kids to say-Yuk! I don't eat "brown cake full of dead flies" and only ever ate the thick white "snow" though insisted on having a Christmas cake every year and now I even bake and ice it myself in an exercise that brings me great joy! .
Yet, history repeats itself with my kids having the exact same relationship with both the decor and the guts of a Christmas cake! Cub2's first sighting of snow in France at age 6 was accompanied by a tasting test to see it was sweet like icing!

I digress-yes, I missed the turn-off to Lake Louise after finishing my business in Banff and ended up on an amazing little adventure that gave me a deeper appreciation of the vast Canadian wilderness than I had anticipated. Don't you just love life's little surprises?

Having driven along the main Trans Canada highway for miles without sighting any signposts, signs of human activity or the elusive Lake Louise (it was snowing so be gentle!), and finding myself agog at the size and magnificence of the mountains (baked Alaska's I'll call them!) I took a turn down a little dirt road to Lake Emerald. 6kms in, there it was. Quiet as the dawn of Earth, no humans or cars, just the soft swish of snowflakes falling and my totally inappropriate boots squish-squashing from being soaked in a puddle of icy water, I had my first face-to-face encounter with a real live wild beaver!

Unfortunately, the little devil refused to surface again by the time I squish-squashed back through the same icy puddle to retrieve the camera from the car, but I did get a photo of its log nest. (Perhaps there is a lost Beaver in Scotland which would account for the strange goings on at Loch Ness? Same deal, different accent?)

I did find Lake Louise in the end, had a glass of Moet Chandon and a wee lunch at the Chateau, but saw none of the brilliant blue for which its known due to cloud and snow. But a magical day nonetheless!

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